Saturday, November 7, 2009

Praying, Cringing and Dealing with Realities Following the Horror at Fort Hood

I fully admit that I am one of those black people who, when looking at the local news, prays that the latest crime being discussed does not have a black suspect. Yes, I am one of those people who cringes at the notion of yet another crime committed by a black person, thus adding one more reason law abiding black men like myself have to deal with the fears and suspicions of virtually everyone else.

In light of the horror that took place at the hands, allegedly, of a Muslim American at Fort Hood, I am sure that Muslims around the U.S. prayed that the suspects were not Muslims, and then likely cringed when it was revealed that Major Nidal Hasan was the named suspect. Over at Huffington Post, Jamal Dajani posted his reaction to all of the calls he was receiving from media types looking for a "Muslim perspective." Exhausting, I can imagine. Wajahat Ali, also at Huffington Post, stated the following: "Ultimately, this use -- or misuse -- of fear and rumors over Hasan's Islamic faith should be moot in light of the record of thousands of Muslim American soldiers who have served and made sacrifice...."

But in our post 9/11 world, that record that Ali references does not matter to a large swath of Americans. What they see are "Muzlims," and those are the people who want to kill all Americans and hate "our freedoms." We are a panic ridden society now, and it would not surprise me if calls for thorough checks and examinations, and even beginning thoughts of the internment of Muslim American communities didn't get louder. Yet, we have to make sure that we maintain who we are as Americans with an open society, while insisting on providing top tier national security protection to all of us, so that we do not have to experience tragedies like this one again.

The question is how will we do it?


Cheyevo said...

Free, I won’t get into the race-ethnicity-religious political hardball fishbowl here but I would like to introduce another angle of contemplation... looking beyond/outside of the scope of Major Hasan being a Muslim American and through the scope of him being an American serving in the Armed Forces under much pressure. Dissecting the trigger of this tragedy – fear of going to fight in a war which 1) many of your fellow Americans have shunned, 2) breaks down one’s rationality when combating amongst fellow brothers of the faith, 3) for years one has witnessed immanent cloud of terror that this War on Terror has etched into the global society; fear is the weapon of mass destruction. WMD have infiltrated the American land, the Armed Forces, and even her spirit. America’s sons and daughters – [who] believe [rs] in the inalienable rights of mankind – who fight to uphold her spirit of independence are burdened but division: politics, religion, foreign policy, and history; this first takes to the battleground of the mind. Our military has for time has moved from the tactics and humility of the Founding Fathers’ era and into a modern era of technological advanced hubris. To those who have not crossed me - don’t get the wrong idea as I have lived a dedicated life of honor and service to the military and brethren therein – I am also aware of the changes the entity has undergone under the turnovers of leadership in the recent decades. I am aware of the advancements and cutbacks, the strengthening and weakening both of the entity and individuals. I am aware of the new creed –one that conflicts with the spirit of America and the long history of heroes. Nevertheless, we [the people of this land] must acknowledge the war we have pledged on our own, we must surrender to the crimes against humanity WE have committed, we must give an open ear to hear the now tearful cries of the victims – our soldiers [friends, family, neighbor, hero, child, mentor, fellow man, woman, another person, human, creature of the Greater Circle], we must respond with unequivocal-unconditional love, respect, and honor which manifest in tangible resources that restore the very liberties and happiness that were sacrificed for America’s greater good.

hscfree said...

So, if I am reading your comment correctly (and correct me if I am wrong), you are arguing that the issue of fear is guiding all of these events. I agree with the idea that we are operating under fear, and to a degree it is understandable, because unlike other countries we have not had terrorist attacks like they had. It's new territory for us, and we will have to learn to adjust unfortunately.

Regarding another point that you raised, I do think that we need to have robust investigations into whether or not we committed war crimes. Personally, I think that the Bush administration ran roughshod with all sorts of American and international laws, and it should be held accountable.